Mayock: Ayers 'logical' for Pats at 17

February, 17, 2011
2/17/11
2:25
PM ET
NFL Network and NFL.com draft analyst Mike Mayock is holding a media conference call today and he was asked the following question: If you're the Patriots at No. 17, and you're locked in at outside linebacker, which prospects look like the best fit?

"Akeem Ayers, from UCLA, is the most logical guy at 17, because Von Miller is going to be gone," Mayock responded. "I'm not sure Justin Houston, from Georgia, makes sense there. I think he's more of a second-round guy. So if you're trying to lock in on a guy, and obviously they need somebody who can get to the quarterback without a lot of help, I think Akeem Ayers is the guy who makes the most sense."

A follow-up question was asked about which 3-4 defensive end might be the best fit for the Patriots at No. 17, 28 or 33.

"There are a bunch of them," Mayock responded. "J.J. Watt, I might like him more than other people, but he's to me the prototypical guy. He fits exactly what they do. I think Cam Jordan, from Cal, fits into that slot. He's got some natural pass-rush to him. J.J. Watt is probably a little more stout against the run, where Jordan can probably naturally get to the quarterback a little bit better than Watt. Cam Heyward could be at 33, Muhammad Wilkerson could be at 33. They're the real logical guys anywhere from 17 to 33."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter
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